5 Tips on How to Take Your Design to a Finished Foundry Production
Whether you have the casting already finished, or your project is on the design-phase drawing board -there are still a few things to do before your product idea or sculpting project can finally realize its bronze destiny.
It is true that taking your design to a finished foundry production is a rather simple process. However, these 5 tips should ensure that your experience goes smoothly, and that the possibility for any potential mishaps is kept to a minimum. Ultimately, we want you to look back on your sculpting project and see the finished piece for what it is: your vision in bronze.
#5 – Find the Right Foundry For the Project
In our recent post, “What to Look For In a Local Foundry”, we discussed in depth about the marks of a top-notch foundry partner. It’s absolutely crucial that you work with a foundry company, who will not only give you the best quality (and do so on schedule), but you should also find a partner that will sit down with you one-on-one and offer their expertise in helping you move forward.
This is critical for the success of your project, because after all, you’re the project’s lead designer. No matter what level of quality the foundry claims to provide -if it isn’t able to reproduce the specifics in your design- then you didn’t get what you paid for. That’s why customer service has to be a top priority, because this is the key to producing a truly excellent foundry product that meets your expectations.
#4 – Determine Your Specific Needs For the Project
In order for a foundry to provide you with an accurate quote and a solid grasp on what to expect, you should have the specifics hammered out beforehand. Here are a few pieces of info that you should be able to bring to the table for the first consultation…
- Overall sizes/dimensions of the project
- Project complexity (details, functions, precision, etc.)
- Number of copies (if more than one)
- Purpose of the piece (outdoor, indoor, artistic, product part, etc.)
Be sure to bring this information with you when it’s time to sit down and chat with a foundry representative. We’re going to cover the details of this part of the process in the next tip.
#3 – Meet Face-to-Face With Your Foundry Partner
First off, if you have the wax model already created, then bring it with you (if possible, provided it’s a sculpture that’s small enough to fit on a desk). Not only will this help the representative determine the complexity of the job in question, but they’ll also be able to provide you with pertinent design feedback on transmuting your piece into its alloy reproduction.
However, if you don’t have a wax model finished at this point, or the sculpture itself would need to be hauled in on a flatbed truck -then you can also show them a CAD drawing instead. Providing the foundry’s representatives with your sketches should allow them to have better understanding of your detailed and specific expectations for the job.
It’s always best when everyone is on the same page.
#2 – Foundry Casting or CNC? (Your Foundry Partner Would Know)
One unique aspect about Montclair Bronze is the fact that we not only have a commercial-grade foundry facility, but we also have an industrial CNC machining center. The advantage here is that we can provide a MUCH wider variety of manufacturing options than most other foundries, including feedback concerning the best industry-standard methods that might better facilitate the production requirements of the project.
For instance, while there might be a few disadvantages in using foundry casting methods, you might instead find additional benefits in CNC milling (especially if you want multiple or identical parts that require highly precise dimensions for each piece). This is yet another reason why the more information you provide about the project -the better the foundry is able to determine the best way to get the project done right.
#1 – Mould Copies of Your Original Design
Last, it’s important that you produce multiple mould copies of your wax design. We recommend using silicone in order to create these moulds, as this will provide you (and your foundry) with a little ‘insurance’ if something were to go wrong during the casting process.
This way, your hard work and creativity is protected from unnecessary risk, and you’d even be able to replicate the same sculpture after the first one is finished.
Remember: It’s YOUR Project (Not the Foundry’s)
No matter which foundry you decide to work with, it’s important for you to remember that this is YOUR project. Never allow a foundry to hijack the fundamental aspects of your design (as some one-man shops sometimes do), because a foundry’s job is to reproduce your design into its desired alloy medium -and have minimal artistic/functional influence on the design itself. Aside from that, a foundry may provide structural/engineering feedback, but don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from another local foundry if you aren’t convinced that their suggestions are beneficial to your project.
At the end of the day, your mind already sees what you want. Our job is to simply manifest your mental picture into its patina-coated realization.
Comments are closed